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Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 38
   Posted 1/4/2011 10:53 PM (GMT -6)   
A quick question for those who have had their prostate removed.  When you visit the doctor for checkups do they do an DRE?  My doctor instists on this and says that if anything starts growing he will be able to feel it.  I told him that if the cancer has grown big enough to be felt my psa would be off the charts.  I am about to cancel the next doctors visit because I just don't think it is necessary.
.6 2007
9.4 Oct 2008
11 Nov 2008
12 core bio neg
16 July 2009
20 Sept 2009
all DREs normal
18 core bio gleason 6
Robotic Jan 2010
Up grade 4+4+8
contained, neg in all areas
stage T2b no mo
April <.04
July <.04
Oct <.04

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 7187
   Posted 1/4/2011 11:29 PM (GMT -6)   
Yes, they do it

Cajun Jeff
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 4069
   Posted 1/4/2011 11:33 PM (GMT -6)   
yep..get used to it.

Cajun Jeff
9/08 PSA 5.4 referred to Urologist
9/08 Biopsy: GS 3+4=7 1 positive core in 12 1% cancer core
10/08 Nerve-Sparing open radicalSurgery Path Report Downgrade 3+3=6 GS Stage pT2c margins clea
r3 month: PSA <0.1
19th month: PSA <0.1
2 year PSA <0.1
Only issue at this time is ED but getting better

Tim G
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 2275
   Posted 1/4/2011 11:39 PM (GMT -6)   
My doc still does one as part of my annual physical. 

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 739
   Posted 1/4/2011 11:45 PM (GMT -6)   
I have to agree with you Bob, if it gets big enough to be felt, it must show up first in the blood. I have not had DRE since surgery, mainly because I have not seen my uro, since my surgery, I am just vigilant with my psa test instead.
Age 52yrs [Gold Coast Qld, Australia]
PSA 4 Gleason 7 [3+4=7]
RP 24/12/08 Dr Philip Stricker [Sydney]
Upgrade Gleason Score 7.6 [4+3=7]
Margin status- Focal Involvement
Nil - EPE
ED- okay with Meds.
PSA at 2 yrs, no change remains 0.03
"Everyday in Every-way I Get Better'

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 784
   Posted 1/5/2011 1:28 AM (GMT -6)   
As your prostate has been removed, your doctor must have super sensitive fingers to find or even look for any change in the area, how would he know what he was feeling? I have not had a DRE since my op, which was more than 3 1/2 years ago, find another Doc.

age 67 PSA 5.8 DRE slightly firm Rt
Biopsy 2nd July 07 5 out of 12 positive
Gleason 3+4=7 right side tumour adenocarcinoma stage T2a
RP on 30th July,

Post op Pathology, tumour stage T3a 4+3=7, microcsopic evidence of capsular penetration, seminal vessels, bladder neck,are free of tumour, lymph nodes clear, no evidence of metastatic malignancy, tumour does not extend to the apical margins.

Post op PSA 0.5 26th Sept. Totally dry since catheter removed
PSA 23rd Oct.0.5 seeing Radiation Onocologist 31st Oct.
Started radiation treatment on 5th Dec, to continue until 24 Jan. 08.
Finished treatment, next PSA on 30th April.
PSA from 30th April 08, until now range- 0.5 to 0.6, I am now 70

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 38
   Posted 1/5/2011 2:04 AM (GMT -6)   
Appreaciate the replys on this subject.  I guess I am whining a bit, but have been (like everyone here) poked and proded so much that I don't want anymore unless its for a good reason.  Fourth PSA coming up at the end of this month which includes the DRE, don't really want either but guess I need to get a grip and realize that there are worse things in life to deal with.  I plan on asking the doctor again if this procedure could be dropped, that would just leave the PSA to worry about.  Thanks for listening and your imput.

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2010
Total Posts : 234
   Posted 1/5/2011 3:41 AM (GMT -6)   
Both I and my brother, would stand as proof that your Doc could have a flawed attitude.
Neither had ANY symptoms.
Neither had anything to show via the DRE. ( Totally Normal feel )
Both had G7 cancers.
The Bro would have been dismissed to "Watch and Wait", except that I had already been cut !
When the DRE Doc heard that I had been cut, he dismissed caution and demanded a biopsy.
BUT - this is not quite the same issue as you are asking !

"My doctor instists on this (DRE) and says that if anything starts growing he will be able to feel it. "
I would think that the only thing that would be feeling after an RP, would be the sharp pricks from all the bloody surgical clips..  Gee they annoy at times !

"I told him that if the cancer has grown big enough to be felt my psa would be off the charts."
I would agree with that suggestion, and especially with your having the "Zero-Club Membership".

I think your Doc loves you ! .. . HeHe !   shocked ..

Nov 2009 = First-PSA 5.3 @ 60yo - Asymptomatic - DRE-Non-Palpable
Jan-'10 = TRUS Bx DX - AC T1c - GS(3+3)=6 , 5 & 45% max., L-MidZone
May-'10 = RRP-Nrv-Spare
Post Op. GS(3+4)=7, 1.1cm3, Pos Margins, EPE (focal) Lateral Left
MI(xtensive) Post, Grade3 x 8mm
+8week PSA<0.01, ED-85%, Incont-30%
+16W PSA<0.01, ED -85%, Cont -5%
+17W First 'DRY' day. ED -90%
+26W ED -60%

Post Edited (BuiDoi) : 1/5/2011 2:45:52 AM (GMT-7)

Steve n Dallas
Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 4818
   Posted 1/5/2011 4:52 AM (GMT -6)   
My doc still does one as part of my annual physical.  -> He also gets a stool sample that way which allows him to test it - which is important smhair

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 1131
   Posted 1/5/2011 6:13 AM (GMT -6)   
I started a post on this subject a couple of years ago asking the same question.  My doctor has not done the DRE since surgery. 

Elite Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 25355
   Posted 1/5/2011 6:37 AM (GMT -6)   
I have had 4 since my original surgery, 2 by my uro/surgeon, and 2 by the radiation oncologist, and I saw no reason to object to any of them. If it could be for your own benefit, why buck it? It's no big deal, part of the service.

David in SC
Age: 58, 56 dx, PSA: 7/07 5.8, 10/08 16.3
3rd Biopsy: 9/08 7 of 7 Positive, 40-90%, Gleason 4+3
open RP: 11/08, on catheters for 101 days
Path Rpt: Gleason 3+4, pT2c, 42g, 20% cancer, 1 pos marg
Incont & ED: None
Post Surgery PSA: 2/09 .05,5/09 .1, 6/09 .11. 8/09 .16
Post SRT PSA: 1/10 .12, 4/8 .04, 8/6 .06 11/10 Not taking it
Latest: 6 Corr Surgeries to Bladder Neck, SP Catheter since 10/1/9, SRT 39 Sess/72 gy ended 11/09, 21 Catheters, Ileal Conduit Surgery 9/23/10

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 462
   Posted 1/5/2011 7:14 AM (GMT -6)   
I am 3 1/2 years post op and every six months I go to the uro and she gives me a dre. She says just checking for any growth that might reappear.  
Age 56, Biopsy 6/2007 - PSA 4.5, 2 of 12 with  <5% cancer Gleason 6
Surgery 9/2007 Strong Memorial,  Rochester  NY with Dr. Jean Joseph (1300 plus surgeries)
 Path - Negative margins, cancer in 20% examined tissue, Gleason 6
 Post Op - No ED issues, full erections without drugs,  used 5-7 pads a day for 3 months. Now dry except for stress leaks now and then.
 All post op psa's <.04

James C.
Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 4462
   Posted 1/5/2011 9:58 AM (GMT -6)   
My uro still does one. He says there's lots of other things to be examined while he is up there. I know he does do a good rectal sweep while he is there and samples for blood in stool.
James C. Age 63
Gonna Make Myself A Better Man
4/07: PSA 7.6, 7/07 Biopsy: 3 of 16 PCa, 5% involved, left lobe, GS6
9/07: Nerve Sparing open RP, Path: pT2c, 110 gms., clear except:
Probable microscopic involvement-left apical margin -GS6
3 Years: PSA's .04 each test until 04/10-.06, 09/10-.09, 01/11-.09
ED-total-Bimix 30cc

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 966
   Posted 1/5/2011 10:12 AM (GMT -6)   
Seems to me I remember some where that highly aggressive cancer cells gives off little to no psa, which the only precurser to know if there is progression would be the DRE.
You are beating back cancer, so hold your head up with dignity


Signature details in Sticky Post above - page 2

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 292
   Posted 1/5/2011 10:49 AM (GMT -6)   
My doc says he's checking for scarring and such things.
We don't get close and personal every time, just once or twice since surgery 20 months ago.

Dave in NC
New Member

Date Joined Dec 2010
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 1/5/2011 11:00 AM (GMT -6)   
My Uro doesn't do one, but my PCP still does.  First time I said "you sure this is still needed?" and he said "yep" (unfortunately I don't recall his exact rationale).

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 308
   Posted 1/5/2011 11:02 AM (GMT -6) doc never did, and i assumed nobody did..
5/05 PSA:1.8
12/07 PSA:3.7
7/08 PSA:4.7
8/08 Biopsy#1:3 of 6 irreg
11/08 PSA:6.5
12/08 Biopsy#2:of 12,3 cancer,other 9 irreg;Gl:3+3=6
1/22/09 RRP
1/25/09 Released
1/28/09 Path: PCa on 10%, lymph & SV benign, Gl:3+4=7,stage T2c
2/13/09 PSA:0.1
6/09 PSA:0.1
10/09 PSA:0.1
2/10 PSA:0.3
4/10 PSA:0.4 Referred to RO
5/4/10 First RT
6/25/10 Final RT;ended up 36 treatments,64.8 Gy.
8/10 PSA:0.2
11/10 PSA: 0.1

Worried Guy
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 3730
   Posted 1/5/2011 12:17 PM (GMT -6)   
My surgeon checked me at 3 months, 6 months and one year. I asked him if he was looking for his forgotten watch or something.
I figure he does it so he can justify charging for a full office visit just to tell my PSA.

I will be going for my 1.5 year check tomorrow. I'll let you know if he finds his Rolex.


MY PSA is <0.01 . (I always have a copy of the report sent directly to my home.)

Reminds me of this scene from Family Guy.

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 235
   Posted 1/5/2011 4:14 PM (GMT -6)   
All of my guys have stopped the 'stoop and grope'.  PCP and surgeon both said "no need for it".
age 52
RALP 10/08
One nerve spared
Gleason 7
Pre op PSA 8.2 -- first PSA ever taken on age 50 physical
Post op PSA's <0.01
Most recent PSA 0.02 (12/10)

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 6847
   Posted 1/5/2011 6:38 PM (GMT -6)   
I've not had one since DaVinci from the uro, but it is because I did radiation, and he says next visit, I'm due.
I've had worse treatment from customs inspectors in countries that will remain unnamed.

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2010
Total Posts : 144
   Posted 1/5/2011 8:16 PM (GMT -6)   
No way anyone's giving me another DRE
Age at diagnosis[\b] 48
Gleason[\b] 3+3
Pre-Surgery PSA[\b] 5.1, 5.7
Cores Positive:[\b] 10 of 12 up to 40%
Treatment:[\b] open Surgery Dec 2010

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 669
   Posted 1/5/2011 8:26 PM (GMT -6)   
My urologist has never done a post op DRE.  He laughed when I asked and said that it is not necessary and will not find anything wrong anyway. 
I do have a bi-annual colonoscopy (because of family history)  so I must still suffer that indignity.

Mike H
Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 72
   Posted 1/5/2011 10:10 PM (GMT -6)   
14 months and 3 visits to the surgeon since my RP and never had a DRE since the prostate was removed.

It seemed obvious to me that there was no reason do do it anymore, now I'm wondering if there might be a benefit.

Today, I'll celebrate my newest zero PSA but I might ask about a DRE at my July visit.

I pay the $20 copay so if there's any benefit, what the heck. It adds 30 seconds to the appointment.

Food for thought as they say.

8/12/09 Diagnosed at 49 years old. DOB. 6/11/60

12/2/00 PSA was 4.9

5/5/03 PSA was 5.4 - Biopsy Negative

6/10/09 PSA hit a all time high of 6.9

7/23/09 Biopsy Positive. 10% cancer in 1 of 12 cores. Gleason 3+3=6.

10/29/09 Surgery at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, NYC
11/25/09 Catheter Out (4 weeks)
99% continent the day the catheter came out
Wore the pads for 2 weeks to be safe but had minor drips at most.
12/16/09 First PSA (7 weeks) < .05 Undetectable

Post Surgical Pathology:
Gleason 3+3=6
Tumor confined to prostate
Seminal vesicles not involved
Bladder neck not involved
Surgical margins free of tumor
Lymph nodes not involved

6/16/10 6 Month PSA < .05 Undetectable
1/5/11 12 Month PSA < .05 Undetectable

Worried Guy
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 3730
   Posted 1/6/2011 4:50 PM (GMT -6)   
Well, I'm home from my visit to the surgeon. At 18 months, apparently he still could resist the urge to root around in there.

As I said to Sonny in another thread, I agree: "Every Day is a Bonus. The surgeon found a couple of hundred bucks up my butt and I got more action than I've have in a month."

Surgeon said "You were pretty well developed. I had to cut wide to get it."
PSA <0.01 I'm not complaining
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